Getting Real About Love
It is not easy to define romanticism. It’s a style of literature and art, but also an attitude of the human being toward life and especially love. What is clear is that romanticism has transcended time and fads. In the modern world, with all of its pragmatism and materialism, there are still many people who see reality very romantically.
When we talk about romanticism, most often we’re speaking the realm of the couple. It is no coincidence that the love between a man and a woman has been called “romantic love.” It’s a class of love in which affection has been idealized and, with time, can result in great disappointment.
Today we look at some of the misconceptions associated with romantic love that ultimately prevent the happiness of a couple.
The “power” of love
There is this idea that love conquers all. Unfortunately, very rarely does. Romantic love, like any human sentiment, has limits and a precise range of power. Love does not conquer all.
Believing that love can overcome any challenges can set us up for disappointment. We often see this in cases when someone thinks that they can change another person through love. Obviously, love can make us change our behavior to a certain extent; but the truth is that a romantic relationship cannot change someone’s inner essence. At best, it will smooth some rough edges.
Love alone is not able to withstand all obstacles, either. Nor can it tolerate every mistake or forgive all offenses. For the more love there is between two people, the more lines there are that cannot be crossed. If love does not include respect, tolerance, and good communication, it is possible that the relationship is maintaining a bond without depth of feeling or sentiment.
The “magic” of love
Many times when we speak of love it is associated with various magical ideas. People talk about fate or destiny, of an inexplicable ‘chemistry,’ of a one true love in life, or of eternities and infinities. These are all lovely concepts, but reality, in most cases, is somewhat less exciting.
Some people want to see love through the lens of the supernatural, to believe that there’s an incomprehensible force behind love. This can make it difficult for them to enjoy or appreciate more earthly relationships.
They assume that if there are any problems in their relationship, it is because they have yet to find their true ‘other half.’ They assume that finding him or her will take no actual effort, because everything would flow naturally, as if it were written in stone beforehand.
There is a very strong contrast between the very real, imperfect relationships of flesh and blood and the relationships idealized by romantics. Of course, the real relationships always end up losing. How could a here and now, full of imperfections and misunderstandings, even begin to compare to something beyond that of flesh and blood which comprises only of harmony and bliss?
Really, those who want something that can only exist in imagination and romanticism are missing out on something great. Not only that, but they will just become more and more frustrated with their constantly thwarted desires.